Archaeologists from Stockholm University’s Archaeological Research Laboratory have located a unique Viking Age shipyard site at Birka, Sweden on Björkö Island in Lake Mälaren.

This discovery challenges previous theories about how the maritime activities of the Viking Age were organized.

The site consists of a stone-lined depression along what had been the shore at that time, and a series of wooden slides for launching boats. Finds include large quantities of both unused and used boat rivets, whetstones made from slate, and woodworking tools.

Viking Shipyard at Birka

A site like this has never been found before, it is the first of its kind, but the finds convincingly show that it was a shipyard,” says Sven Isaksson, Professor of Archeological Science at Stockholm University, and project lead.

Birka has long been a treasure trove of insight into the Viking Age, and the former trading post on the island of Björkö in Lake Mälaren has been recognized as a World Heritage Site.

Ships and shipping are characteristic of the Viking Age in the Nordic countries, both for warfare and for trade. One expression of Viking Age long-distance trade is the city-like trading posts that sprang up in the Nordic countries at the time.

Original article

Viking Shipyard at Birka

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